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 Post subject: Reading scheme books
PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 5:43 pm 
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I have no idea what I should be expecting from my DS, in maturity terms, here, so would appreciate some advice.

DS is in Yr3. A new initiative by the school is to 'push' the reading scheme to get kids through it as soon as possible. All good, I thought, given the battles I've had with the lower school to get ANY reading books. But, my DS brings home, at best, 2 books a week. He is on a Yr5/Yr6 reading border (according to the reading scheme, which is actually several reading schemes run concurrently - children have to go and choose their books from the relevant level), so has to go to a different part of the school to get his books. Consequently, he doesn't, just spends an extra 5 mins on his own in the playground, being peaceful (he's a sociable boy, but likes a bit of calm during the day, as the class is quite 'lively', until his friends (from different classes) turn up. I have level 15 Treetops books at home (from my experience in the lower part of the school) which I am currently making him re-read because he is not bringing anything home. These books are also amongst those he should be reading from school, so technically, he's making progress, though not actually because he's not getting the range the school is providing. He says the reading scheme books are boring, which he's always said, but because they've been provided by a teaching assistant, he's nonetheless had to read them. Now that they are encouraging greater independence and responsibility in year 3, he's responsible for getting his books and there we have our problem.

I've sent a letter into his teacher, explaining that he finds them boring. She had a serious talk with him and went with him to choose an 'interesting book'. That was 3 weeks' ago. Since then, he's brought one other book home. I've tried carrots (20p a book; a football card) to no avail; I've tried threats: no TV when come home from school and that seems to have no effect either. He just reads a book from home. The books we provide are 'good' literature/ science/ history etc. But I'm wondering if I'm missing something from the reading scheme that he ought to be covering. Or that he 'ought' to be doing the reading scheme, regardless of whether he finds it boring because we all have to do boring things in our lives. But then, he is 7 and I think if choosing boring books is an option, not something provided by the teacher, a 7 year olds' human nature is not going to make that choice.

I'd appreciate others' views/ experiences. I don't really know how to handle this. :?

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 Post subject: Re: Reading scheme books
PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 5:55 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 05, 2010 1:18 pm
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fatbananas wrote:
I have no idea what I should be expecting from my DS, in maturity terms, here, so would appreciate some advice.

DS is in Yr3. A new initiative by the school is to 'push' the reading scheme to get kids through it as soon as possible. All good, I thought, given the battles I've had with the lower school to get ANY reading books. But, my DS brings home, at best, 2 books a week. He is on a Yr5/Yr6 reading border (according to the reading scheme, which is actually several reading schemes run concurrently - children have to go and choose their books from the relevant level), so has to go to a different part of the school to get his books. Consequently, he doesn't, just spends an extra 5 mins on his own in the playground, being peaceful (he's a sociable boy, but likes a bit of calm during the day, as the class is quite 'lively', until his friends (from different classes) turn up. I have level 15 Treetops books at home (from my experience in the lower part of the school) which I am currently making him re-read because he is not bringing anything home. These books are also amongst those he should be reading from school, so technically, he's making progress, though not actually because he's not getting the range the school is providing. He says the reading scheme books are boring, which he's always said, but because they've been provided by a teaching assistant, he's nonetheless had to read them. Now that they are encouraging greater independence and responsibility in year 3, he's responsible for getting his books and there we have our problem.

I've sent a letter into his teacher, explaining that he finds them boring. She had a serious talk with him and went with him to choose an 'interesting book'. That was 3 weeks' ago. Since then, he's brought one other book home. I've tried carrots (20p a book; a football card) to no avail; I've tried threats: no TV when come home from school and that seems to have no effect either. He just reads a book from home. The books we provide are 'good' literature/ science/ history etc. But I'm wondering if I'm missing something from the reading scheme that he ought to be covering. Or that he 'ought' to be doing the reading scheme, regardless of whether he finds it boring because we all have to do boring things in our lives. But then, he is 7 and I think if choosing boring books is an option, not something provided by the teacher, a 7 year olds' human nature is not going to make that choice.

I'd appreciate others' views/ experiences. I don't really know how to handle this. :?


Hi,
I know exactly how you are feeling, and it does rely so much on whether the teacher has the time to spend with your DC in helping choose an interesting book.

TBH, I gave up on the school books with my youngest DS and took him to the library. The librarians were extremely enthusiastic for several weeks and helped immensely with his enthusiasm for reading. He is now in Year 6 and wants a Kindle for Christmas as I cannot keep up with his reading book demands.

For my eldest DS, when he was in Year 5 he had a teacher who had boys of a similar age. She managed to get my eldest DS to enjoy reading and we haven't looked back since. I know he was older but he read the Alex Rider books which did get him hooked on reading.

If you feel that the teacher is unable to help then, I would suggest a visit to the library. My DC's used to still read aloud to me a couple of times a week so that I could check their pronounciation etc. and mostly ask me words that they did not know the meaning of.

Hope this helps. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Reading scheme books
PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 6:03 pm 
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Thanks for replying Sep18. Reading your message, I realised that I was largely anxious that he was (a) missing out on some aspect of reading and (b) that the school/ yearly SATS assessments would mark him down (he's currently in the top set) and wondered how this would affect him. Otherwise, I feel he reads widely at home. He doesn't enjoy writing, though enjoys analysing books and I worry he will 'look weak' in literacy, whereas it's actually one of his loves and strengths.

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 Post subject: Re: Reading scheme books
PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 6:26 pm 
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I shouldn't worry FB...at least he is reading some great books at home ( remembering your other thread ) and i should think he would find the school books boring after working his way through the list you described.

I had a similar thing with my DD in year 2 who hated reading the floppy books and the school felt she needed to go on the reading recovery scheme , so I knew she would therefore be stuck on them for a while. I made the decision to take her off the reading scheme and put her on our own one....after all surely it's important that the child is reading...anything and I'm sure your DS won't be missing anything from the schools scheme. I was a bit huffy for a while and then after having it out with the TA who organises the books she finally said it was fine as long as I sent our books in and documented what she was reading .My DD then went from a level 2c in the middle of year 2 to a level 3 2 months later...so I think it was beneficial !( she didn't have to go on the reading recovery either ).

From what I gather from our school, I don't think their reading books are used as too much of an assessment tool. Don't they have guided reading where they discuss a book a small group reads and so the teacher can check their comprehension too? My boys weren't too fussed with writing ...DS1 still isn't, but he in particular reads an awful lot and i think the writing will come. It's only DD in our family who is constantly writing notes to the fairies !


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 Post subject: Re: Reading scheme books
PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 6:39 pm 
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Thanks Scarlett, in my heart I know you're right about what reading DS is doing. In my head, I wondered if he ought to be more organized, structured, disciplined. And now I want to scream 'he's only 7!'. The Infants and Junior schools are separate, if joined, institutions, so I feel I'm dealing with new systems, people etc and that it's such a jump from year 2 to year 3 - emotionally, more than academically.

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 Post subject: Re: Reading scheme books
PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 6:58 pm 
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He sounds as if he is doing just fine. :D I would have been chuffed to bits if my DSs had been as interested in reading and learning as your son seems to be. When I look back , you can see the signs were there that my DSs would be absolutely fine...but then hindsight is a wonderful thing !


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 Post subject: Re: Reading scheme books
PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 9:01 pm 
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If your son reads well and enjoys what you and he choose together at home, then bin the reading scheme. Is he reading well - 95% or more of the words read accurately when he reads out loud to you? Does he have books he is happy sitting and reading to himself without you listening to him?

As your son is a high level reader by the sounds of it, the scheme books he is reading will be designed for older readers content-wise, but still needing the structure of the scheme (well really, I think it's the teachers who need the comfort of the scheme). The content may therefore not be that appealing - also they do look like school books not real books, and children get sensitive to that fact towards the end of reception let alone year 3!!

Bin the school scheme is my advice. I am 100% sure you are not missing out on anything. The school should explain clearly what they think it is if they really believe this is the case ....... bet the TA is just doing what she has been told to do as that way children get books of roughly the right level if parents don't have a clue.

If you feel that you will be upsetting the school by doing this by being lovely and apologetic letter and saying terribly sorry you are a terrible mother and you have no control over your son and he will not go over to this other building to get the books. You could also add that he does not seem to show any interest in them either so maybe they could stop asking him to read them for a while and listen to him read the home books you provide, and tell you if they are happy with the choices you and he are making together. Maybe then one day he will want to read their lovely books - well I don't mean that really but you could sound positive about them ..... maybe one day he will want to read them.

You know that some schools want children to read their books just because - they're there. Or because en masse it's a safe approach and they don't feel good making "exceptions" to the rule. I would have hoped the majority of teachers would be a little more imaginative in their approach with a good reader in year 3. But never mind. I'm sure the teacher has some other strengths.

My DD is year 3 - reads Roald Dahl, Enid Blyton, David Walliams, Fleabag Money Face, etc etc. There's a website somewhere or other where children review books - cool reads I think . You and your son might get some more ideas from that as well as the good ideas parents on here have. It should be fun. It's not about you've got to read a book you hate as practice for when you get something dull to do later in life. How many adults read books they don't want to read except at work? And even then, generally they are lucky enough to choose a job that vaguely matches their interests.


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 Post subject: Re: Reading scheme books
PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 9:08 pm 
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Quote:
But I'm wondering if I'm missing something from the reading scheme that he ought to be covering. Or that he 'ought' to be doing the reading scheme, regardless of whether he finds it boring because we all have to do boring things in our lives.


In my DD's school the reading scheme (all Oxford Reading Tree) stops at about stage 12. Don't think the school even have any of the stage 15 books. After stage 12 the kids become 'free readers' and read what ever they fancy. Both my older 2 DD's are very good readers and I definitely don't think they missed out by not following the reading scheme to its end. I think it's far more important to encourage your child to love reading, and it sounds like you're doing a really good job at that. :D

The SATs reading test is a reading comprehension and I don't think your DS's level or mark will be related to his 'official' reading level on the school reading scheme. The only way you might fall down is if his teacher has it in her head that he couldn't possibly be a level 3a, for instance, because he's stilll on such and such a reading level and subsequently down grades his SATs level even though he does well in the reading comprehension test.

I'm sure though, so long as the teacher is aware of what your DS is reading at home (do you have a reading record book that you can log his reading in?) you don't need to worry.


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 Post subject: Re: Reading scheme books
PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 9:29 pm 
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Is the year 6 reading test externally marked still? If so, they can't downgrade that. So it will all come out in the wash in 4 years time!!


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 Post subject: Re: Reading scheme books
PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 9:43 pm 
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Thank you so much everyone for taking the trouble to reply. I'm so tired at balling out my lovely boy for not wanting to bring home boring books! I decided a plan just before bedtime. I said to him that I still wanted him to bring home a reading book from school, because I did not want him to get into any potential trouble at school. But, if he didn't, he'd read a book mummy selected for him and I would note that down in his reading record. If the teacher doesn't like it, he can talk to me about it. I've no evidence that the teacher actually checks what they've read, just checks for signatures that they have read.

And isn't 7 a bit young to be relied upon to go and get a reading book; particularly when most kids dislike reading books?

This evening, he read a science book on eyes - different eyes on different creatures and how they function. I now know more about it than I ever wanted (want) to know and he is delighted with his new knowledge! Who knew a scallop has over 100 eyes and that each eye's retina is bright blue!! :shock: :D

Thanks again for helping me to work through it all. I realise now it has been bugging me for weeks and I've been really grouchy with DS consequently. :(

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